Plain Tales from the Raj: Images of British India in the Twentieth Century
Abacus, 1975 - British - 287 pages
The Raj was, for two hundred years, the jewel in the British imperial crown. Although founded on military expansionism and undoubted exploitation, it developed over the centuries into what has been called 'benign autocracy' - the government of many by few, with the active collaboration of most Indians in recognition of a desire for the advancement of their country.Charles Allen's classic oral history of the period that marked the end of British rule was first published a generation ago. Now reissued as the imperial century closes, this brilliantly insightful and bestselling collection of reminiscences illustrates the unique experience of British India: the sadness and luxury for some; the joy and deprivation for others.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
As a child growing up, we studied all about Indian History, of course, and the tales of how people like Robert Clive entered and slowly conquered India. History books have not generally been kind to the British rulers, and certainly they have much to account for. Yet, there are precious few books that have done good service to unsung English people. John Keay's "Into India" is one such book, as is his "The Great Arc." This is another such book. Of course, it covers much ground beyond India, South East Asia as well as Africa. These lands, and the times, through the voices of English people who lived during those times brings history to life. These tales bring those times to life, and give us a very good insight into how the English lived their lives in our countries, how they interacted with the local people, their hopes and ambitions, and finally, their thoughts when they departed. This is an excellent book, and to be read by anyone who wants to get a glimpse into the British Empire beyond the tales of swashbuckling Generals, battles fought and treaties negotiated.
Review: Plain Tales from the RajUser Review - Goodreads
This was a page turner for me. It explains a lot of how people in India evolved the way they did. It gives great insight into the period of the Raj because it documents the lives of people who were actually there. I couldn't put it down.
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